Neighbors, Parents Defend Mom Accused Of Killing Daughter
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
September 22, 2004
ESTILL SPRINGS, TENNESSEE--A former neighbor of Margaret Mignano said that there is no way the 50-year-old woman could have killed her own daughter, the Associated Press reported Sunday.
Mignano has been charged with murder in the July 4, 2004 death of 15-year-old Ashley Mignano. The teenager had cerebral palsy and used a ventilator to breathe. She also took the anticonvulsant drug Phenobarbital to control epileptic seizures.
Police arrested Mignano when Ashley's death was reported as suspicious after she was rushed to a hospital because of a heart attack.
An autopsy report later showed that Ashley's body had 106.97 micrograms per milliliter of Phenobarbital. The prescribed range is less than 40 micrograms per milliliter. More than 60 is lethal, the report indicated.
Earlier this month, a grand jury was ordered in the case to determine whether Mignano should face charges. The grand jury is scheduled to convene November 1.
Mignano's neighbors, along with parents of other children with similar disabilities, defended the mother. One said she was "getting a bum rap".
"Mom charged with murder says she'd just saved girl's life" (Associated Press via Nashville Tennessean)
"Letter: Mother shouldn't have been charged" (Tullahoma News)